Sarah Fisher's Blog

7th April

I have been off giving a talk on TTouch for a great group of people, the mares have had their teeth done and dealt with the sedation well, and they are currently enjoying a bit of sun on their backs out in the paddock.

It is really peaceful here to day. It usually is, but with the wind a little less chilly and no hint of rain in the air today, the horses are all turned out and rugs are off.  Some are laying out in the sunshine and others are enjoying mutual grooming sessions as they are all shedding like crazy.  It’s great to see them shining in the sun shine instead of being buried under thick, warm layers.

Shedding can be a useful time to spot any areas of tension in your horse’s body unless of course they were clipped out through the winter. They tend to hang on to their coats in areas where circulation to the skin is poor.  Some horses will hold on to the winter coat around the base of the tail or over the loins for example.  This will often correspond to the way they move under saddle. Bath time (which still seems a long way off for those of us who are not fortunate enough to have a heated wash down area) can also be a useful time for observations, as horses that lack muscle through the top line or carry tension through the back will often dry off more slowly in the areas where circulation to the skin is inhibited. Sweat patterns can also give a lot if information too. I will be watching the two new mares shed out over the coming weeks with great interest. 

A client horse was running at Aintree yesterday and I am really pleased to see that he performed very well indeed.  A great result for all the members of the team.  Well, well done.  I grew up in racing country and I certainly enjoyed the excitement of the races as a child but I have struggled with the Grand National as I personally find it really distressing to see a horse sustain a fatal injury and thus stopped watching the race many years ago.  A great working day yesterday was certainly made even brighter with the knowledge that all the horses came home safe and sound.  

I am off to mix up feeds for all the horses then will head home to pack as Tony and I are heading back up to Wood Green later this afternoon.  We will have a day together tomorrow then head off in separate directions as I am going to drive over to Suffolk for a few days so that I can catch up with some writing.  Then it will be back to work doing my monthly radio slot (although I don’t really consider that to be work),  two days for two different rescue organisations, and preparing for the next TTouch training clinic at the farm.  All is good and life is great especially as spring is definitely on the way.

4th April

April? Already? Where on earth has the last three months gone?  I have been over to DogsTrust Shoreham and  Tony and I drove up to Birmingham yesterday to attend the Ceva Animal Welfare Awards. It was another fabulous event in the company of many friends – some of whom I haven’t seen for years.  Thank you to all the team at Ceva for inviting us – it was a superb night celebrating the commitment and expertise of those who work tirelessly on the front line of animal welfare.

The mares will be sedated tomorrow for much needed dental attention and I am pleased to see that the little chestnut has already put on some weight.  Fab work Shelley and Vicki. You ladies rock.  The mares love the body work they get and there has certainly been a lot of bonding going on whilst I have been on the road. I think if I had ever even hinted that the mares need to be found a home once they are in a better state of health my team would be looking to relocate me! 

30th March

It’s been a whirlwind of a week with lots of driving and a pretty hectic schedule. I spent two days teaching at a wonderful charity in Hampshire called Hounds for Heroes and enjoyed every moment of my time with the Hounds for Heroes team.  I am looking forward to going back.  I have enjoyed reading some great feedback from  my clients and was thrilled to read Fiona’s blog about her latest outing with the Mighty Taz.  Brilliant performance all round. Well done both.

Tony and I headed up to Wood Green Animal Shelter on Thursday to attend a function and had a great time connecting with many friends from the animal welfare world. As always it was a pleasure seeing Dennis Baker OBE who is the CEO of Wood Green. He is one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet.

The mares have settled well at Tilley Farm and my great team Shelley and Vicki have fallen in love with both the horses.  It doesn’t look as though the horses will be going anywhere, anytime soon. Both have heart murmurs but the chestnut mare’s is worse and it is unlikely they will be able to do any more than  be companions as the bigger mare has arthritis in one hoof. The chestnut certainly has some miles on the clock and judging by the state of her legs she has given a lot of herself over the years. Her previous owner rescued her and it is certainly time she has something given back. They are here to stay and will live out their lives in peace amongst our other older horses.  It would appear that Tilley Farm is fast becoming an equine retirement home. One that benefits both humans and horses alike as there is a certain peace that comes with the company of wiser, older horses.

The sun continues to shine although it is still bitterly cold. We are still feeding hay out in the fields and I am so glad that we managed to get a good crop in last year. I don’t know how people are managing right now. It’s tidy time at the farm though as Spring is definitely in the air and we are busy clearing the garden and tidying up around the headlands. I shall enjoy the Easter Break in the company of my family and good friends then it’s off on the road once more as I have more teaching to do.

25th March

The mares have arrived!  They are so gentle and so, so sweet.  They travelled well and I am so glad that I could offer them a home.  I have been in touch with the owner and the ladies that first stepped in to assis,t as things were beginning to unravel. There is a lot to do but the mares have clearly been very loved as they are a joy to be around.  Teeth will need urgent attention, and they will see my farrier as soon as possible.  The chestnut mare is over twenty and the larger roan mare is in her late teens. The chestnut is in poor condition but I am hopeful that she will pick up in the coming weeks.  I know that everyone involved is thrilled that both mares are safe and the owner will be more than welcome to come and see them at Tilley Farm.  Horses are so expensive to keep and when owners face financial pressures things can unravel really quickly. My good friend who contacted me last week has donated some money towards the costs of caring for the mares and I am grateful to everyone who has been involved in the mares’ story so far. I think the horses are pretty thankful too.

24th March

It is my birthday today. In dog years, I am dead. Fortunately, I am not a dog.

23rd March

I have been teaching the rest of the Companion Animal training here at Tilley Farm and have enjoyed every moment.  We have been working with cats, dogs, exotics and horses. Horses are not generally defined as Companion Animals obviously but it is a very useful exercise for participants to observe the TTouch  techniques being applied to horses, as the effects of the more subtle body work are often easier to see on a larger animal.   The posture, movement and general balance of  the horse can be more clearly seen when people are  first learning to study the physical patterns in animals as horses tend to move around less and the movement is generally slower. It has been a hectic week as usual and the winter has gone on and on. The work load has been pretty intense for everyone but we are finally able to turn out horses for longer periods of time as we have had a reasonably dry few days.

Earlier in the week I received an email from a friend asking for assistance with two older mares who were in need of help. The owner has had financial problems as so many people have.  I am often asked if I can take on extra horses or dogs and this has definitely increased over the past year as so many more animals are in need. I can’t take them all – I wish I could – but I have offered my assistance in this instance. Even if we are just a stepping stone for the horses before we find them a permanent home it is something I feel we need to do. We have started with x-rays as the bigger mare is lame and I wanted to get them health checked to ensure they were fit for travel.  It is very rare for me to say yes to an animal without knowing much about them but I think that at least we can buy these mares some time. 

I don’t judge people. Every one of us has a back story and through appropriate communication I often discover that the truth is not what many people may assume. If I ever found myself in need I would hope that someone would be there to assist me and my animals. The bigger mare was going to be put to sleep on Wednesday but fortunately my phone call came just in time.  I am not against euthanasia. Sometimes it is for the best and contrary to what some people may think, I do sometimes advise that a horse or dog is put to sleep. There are often many factors to consider when weighing up the reality of a situation regardless of what that situation may be and quality of life for the animal, coupled with safety for the humans involved, is always a priority for me.  I am hopeful that we can at least give both the mares a good summer here at Tilley Farm. By all accounts it sounds as though they deserve a few peaceful months and I will assess their quality of life when they arrive and take things one step at a time from there.

Previous BlogNext Blog
  • Cool to be Kind
  • News & Press -->